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The Drummer Boy from Maine

The account of one of the smallest soldiers in blue George Ulmer, the author of this book, is unusually distinguishable from many of the soldiers who penned their recollections of their time in the Union Army during the great civil war between the states. Ulmer was no strapping youth straight from the farm, or mature man fighting for deeply held convictions; by his own admission, as war broke out he was 'a midget of a boy; a barefooted ragged news-boy in the city of New York' where he made much needed money by selling newspapers after proclaiming contents they did not possess. Ulmer's mother died in 1861 and his father moved the family to a farm in Maine to provide them with a healthier lifestyle. As the war progressed, Ulmer's brother joined the army to fight and he too burned to go. His attempts to be mustered into a regiment were repeatedly met with rejection and derisive laughter. However, Ulmer though both very young and small was also a street-wise urchin from the city who knew how to get his own way and eventually, in 1863 he found himself in the ranks of the 8th Maine wearing the smallest uniform that could be issued to him-it 'looked as if it was enough make a suit for an entire family.' He became something of a mascot to the 'Maine giants' of his regiment and the diminutive Ulmer had a fair degree of leeway in his movements becoming a champion forager-something for which his background had ideally qualified him. Of course this remains the account of a fighting soldier and Ulmer found himself in action at Fort Powhatan, Cold Harbor and Petersburg. This is an enjoyable, charming and often humorous recollection, candidly told in manhood by someone who remembered himself as a canny but mischievous 'young devil.' Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket; our hardbacks are cloth bound and feature gold foil lettering on their spines and fabric head and tail bands.
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